Shakhtar still holding out for €30m bid
Shakhtar Donetsk chief executive Sergei Palkin has said his club will hold out for a €30 million (£25.5 million) transfer fee for Armenian midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
Champions League runners-up Borussia Dortmund are the only club to have lodged an official offer for playmaker Mkhitaryan, but Liverpool are believed to be preparing a bid.
Palkin said the player could only leave on a cut-price deal if he handed over a huge sum of money to break his contract.
"There is nothing new about Mkhitaryan," Palkin told Football.ua. "I already have said that Borussia Dortmund offered €23 million for him. This was the sole offer, but our position is €30 million.
"Mkhitaryan doesn't have a release clause in his contract, but it does spell out the penalties for unilateral termination of the contract, which is equal to US$30 million (£19.8 million).
"If Mkhitaryan wants to terminate the contract, he must pay Shakhtar US$30 million and go to a club that he likes. If we go in a civilised manner and sell the player, and in doing so he does not break the contract, the value we place on him is €30 million.”
Palkin went on to confirm that Mkhitaryan would be punished for his failure to report for pre-season training with Shakhtar, even though his departure from the club seems increasingly probable.
"Of course Mkhitaryan will be punished," he added. "He did not show up at training camp. In his contract, the penalties for such behaviour are all spelt out, so it is not a problem for us to fine him."
Meanwhile, Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers hinted that he was on the lookout for an attacking midfielder of Mkhitaryan’s ilk as he declared himself satisfied with his summer signings so far.
"I'm very happy with the four players I've brought in, and they’ll add to the group, but we still hope to make a few more," Rodgers is quoted as saying in the Daily Mirror. "Another attacking player will really benefit us, and probably another defender."